Why Muslims kill Muslims

Published: February 25, 2012
The writer is a director at the South Asia Free Media Association, Lahore 

The writer is a director at the South Asia Free Media Association, Lahore khaled.ahmed@tribune.com.pk

Muhammad Ziaul Haq has compiled a biography of Pakistan’s premier TV anchor, under the title of Hamid Mir ki Kahani in which, on page 250, Hamid Mir makes a very interesting revelation about the thinking of Osama bin Laden. The statement simply proves that he indeed interviewed Bin Laden a number of times. The ‘doctrine’ announced by Bin Laden explains why al Qaeda kills innocent Muslims.

Democracy converts the state into a state of consent as against undemocratic states called the states of terror. In Swat, the Taliban created their state of terror as a riposte to Pakistan which they saw as a state of consent.

Hamid Mir quotes Bin Laden answering his question: how could he justify the killing of innocent Americans in the 9/11 attack? “Bush is the leader of America, voted into power by Americans, who also pay taxes to maintain him in power; therefore, all Americans are responsible for the killing of Muslims and should be killed.” The truth is that al Qaeda employs the doctrine also in respect of those Muslims who live under democracy. As an extrapolation, Muslims will kill Muslims living in a state of consent.

Philip Bobbit in Terror and Consent: The Wars for the Twenty-First Century (Penguin 2008) writes: “On the eve of the historic Iraqi elections in 2005, Abu Musab al Zarqawi released a videotape threatening those who might attempt to vote: ‘We have declared a bitter war against democracy and all those who seek to enact it’. Islam, he said, requires the rule of God and not the rule of ‘the majority of the people’.”

Zarqawi explained furthermore, that democracy was based on other objectionable beliefs beyond simple “majority rule, freedom of religion, rule of the people, freedom of expression, separation of religion from state, forming political parties”. In his statement Zarqawi declared that democracy’s principles of majority rule and respect for individual rights “allow infidelity and wrong practices to spread”.

Most important, Zarqawi announced that, because democracies are states of consent, every member of the society is culpable for the state’s actions and, therefore, every citizen is a legitimate target for violence. It’s not simply that civilians are to be terrorised in order to bring pressure on their governments; rather, attacks on civilians are an end in themselves because the civilians are being punished for their very existence as the constitutive participants in democracies. (Pg 73).

Did Zarqawi concoct the doctrine on his own? Ayman al Zawahiri said after the London bombings of 2005: “Your democratically elected governments continuously [make war] and your support of them makes you directly responsible until we feel secure [in our practices], you will be our target.”

Al Qaeda began killing the Shias of Iraq under the local leadership of Abu Musab al Zarqawi who had fought as an al Qaeda warrior from 1990 onwards. He died in Baghdad in June 2006, with $25 million on his head. Zarqawi began his career of a jihadist in Afghanistan, in the 1980s. He was jailed in Jordan on his return for seven years but returned to Afghanistan again, was in Herat training the jihadists and was in Tora Bora with Osama bin Laden in 2001. He got injured in Kandahar during the American invasion and was evacuated through Iran by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who had good contacts in Tehran.

Zarqawi moved to Iraq after that — well in time to see the Americans invade the country — and joined the Kurd-led jihadi militia Ansarul Islam there. Ansarul Islam was founded as a terrorist group by one, Mullah Krekar, who came to the Islamic University of Islamabad as a lecturer in the 1980s and later joined the jihad in Peshawar.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (29)

  • sameer
    Feb 26, 2012 - 1:24AM

    Actually American also believe in same doctrine. That is why there are punishing Gazan for electing Hamas.


  • Sarah
    Feb 26, 2012 - 1:33AM

    And muslims also kill muslims, when their democratic governments ally as accomplices with western powers to indiscriminately kill them, and bomb their homes and villages and get drones like a daily meal and keep silent about it. its a state of consent and cowardice.


  • Ali Tanoli
    Feb 26, 2012 - 2:40AM

    So in your words others dont kills there fellow faithmen then please sir whats happend in Russia Communist Revolution 1917 American civil wars and Europe ww1 and ww2 is it not
    christians killed christians and chinese killed fellow chinese and indians killed fellow india as
    a great servants of British Raj…….. list goes on


  • Falcon
    Feb 26, 2012 - 2:48AM

    On first thought, it would have been to good to see Mr. Zarqawi as a show-piece in a psychiatrist’s office. But getting to the point of his argument against democratic countries engaging in wars; taking this obsession to the logical conclusion means that anybody providing any form of support to such a govt. would be held responsible in his books. On the other hand, truth is that even non-democratic governments have to rely on resources from the masses (gathered through taxation or rent-seeking structures). So, putting it altogether, anybody who disagrees with his creed should be killed as per his philosophy, which most likely includes himself as well.


  • Feb 26, 2012 - 3:05AM

    But again.. Muslims never kill Muslim… It is Jews, Hindus and Western Christians who do this heinous crime


  • vasan
    Feb 26, 2012 - 6:09AM

    Zaid Hamid : I agree, They all commit suicide in the name of religion


  • A.Raja Rao
    Feb 26, 2012 - 6:10AM

    The only unfortunate aspect is that what God wants is decided by the Mullahs as they are the only interpreters of God’s word.


  • Talha
    Feb 26, 2012 - 6:20AM

    @Zaid Hamid:

    Your nonsense trolling is getting very tiring Indian.

    Time to stick with call centre work.


  • Ashvinn
    Feb 26, 2012 - 6:39AM

    A Muslim who kills another Muslim is not a Muslim, which means Muslims don’t kill Muslims.
    That is always the logic of the extermist, the word Muslim can be replaced by any other word representing a community or religion or group.


  • Mirza
    Feb 26, 2012 - 9:01AM

    OBL and his terrorists hated democracy. IRecommend

  • Zalim singh
    Feb 26, 2012 - 10:51AM

    @ Khaled sir,

    great article. What muslims should realise before criticising america is- USA helped muslim world when it intervened in Bosnia and saved millions of Muslim lives, which were destined to be eliminated by serbs. Nobody wants to credit USA with that commendable act. Just some lame excuse of hamas. I visited Israel, and found muslims there leading better lives than any place in muslim world save europe.


  • Anon..
    Feb 26, 2012 - 11:43AM

    Convenient to mention Sunni monsters in Iraq. Care to mention the minority Shiite Alawite sect that first massacred 20000 in Hama, Syria in 1982 and is now again carrying out a brutal crackdown on the Sunni majority in Syria.


  • Hold your horses
    Feb 26, 2012 - 12:35PM

    Sure….call center work is any day better than jihadi work…would prefer to be a call center employee that blowing up people into bits…


  • wonderer
    Feb 26, 2012 - 1:34PM

    @Zaid Hamid:

    Once again, you display the knack of always getting your facts wrong.

    Why do you do it regularly?


  • faraz
    Feb 26, 2012 - 2:04PM

    All these nonsensical doctrines are relics of the Cold war. The grandfather of these was Charlie Wilson. CIA sponsored these elements and later discarded them. The world moved on but these elements are wasting themselves in their fantasy world that they imagined in the hills of the failed state of Afghanistan. Recommend

  • Talha
    Feb 26, 2012 - 3:28PM

    @Hold your horses:

    So you changed your name then, learn to be able to take an insult like you are used to giving.

    Another thing, if all 180mil were Jihadi’s, there won’t be any call centers to work in.


  • vasan
    Feb 26, 2012 - 5:02PM

    Ali Tanoli : Your thinking is completely muddled and hence you missed the essence of the article.
    Muslims claim that “Muslims dont kill muslims” but go around killing muslims and others in the name of RELIGION
    Americans, Indians and Chinese have never claimed that they kill or they dont kill.
    For your information this author talks of “Muslims” , supposedly followers of Islam. He does not talk of Pakistan or India of China or America. Dont confuse religion with Nationality.
    But then, am I missing the point because Pakistan has been doing it precisely from 1947.


  • Mr. Righty rightist
    Feb 26, 2012 - 7:08PM

    I’m sorry to say that ur analysis is flawed.

    Muslims have been killing Muslims for centuries. If u look at the history of Muslim rulers in India, many of them have come to power by killing their fathers and brothers.

    Muslims have been killing each other in Arabia over small quantities of water for centuries…

    Muslims have been killing Muslims over slight difference of opinions.

    This is true.

    The concept of state of consent is new. But Muslims have been killing each other for centuries.


  • wonderer
    Feb 26, 2012 - 7:42PM

    @Mr. Righty rightist:

    I agree with you fully, Sir.

    May i add that “killing” is taken so very lightly in among Muslims, at least in the present day world. It does not seem to create the horror it should. May be, because in Islam killing other human beings under certain circumstances carries religious sanction; and it does not in other religions.

    I would welcome comments on my observation, particularly if I am wrong.


  • Feb 26, 2012 - 8:21PM

    @Zaid Hamid:
    State of denial! Does that mean TPP and the like who clearly own killing of a large number of Muslims work for Jews, Hindus and Western Christians?


  • YeaRight
    Feb 26, 2012 - 10:37PM

    Hahaha…Good one!


  • Babloo
    Feb 26, 2012 - 10:58PM

    When a muslim kills a muslim, then the victim, by the definition of the attacker becomes a non-Muslim and the attacker by the defination of the victim becomes a non-Muslim. So muslims never kill muslims, Recommend

  • From Herat with Love
    Feb 26, 2012 - 11:05PM

    Why do Christians kill Christians?
    Why do Hindus kill Hindus?
    Why do human beings kill human beings?


  • Engineer
    Feb 27, 2012 - 12:59AM


    If I was allowed unlimited thumbs up to your comments…i’d give you a million thumbs up against this two faced chap who cant stand his ground in the face of some hard hitting retorts…


  • Deb
    Feb 27, 2012 - 6:25AM

    Muslims are not supposed to kill Muslims.
    Though Muslims are free to kill …..under special circumstances
    If a Muslim kills a Muslim, he is only a Muslilm by name.
    Which means just that, Muslims do not kill Muslims.


  • a r modak//////////////johannesburg RSA
    Feb 27, 2012 - 12:26PM

    its an ideological war-with religion sandwiched in——
    if it wasn’t for greed (read colonialism), and usurpation, and the need to gain at any cost, this divide would not have come about.
    first, it was the overpowering of the weak, then ideologies, now religion!
    the mughal war——–hindu/muslim
    the partition————-hindu/muslim
    the arab war————-jew and arab
    the boer war—————afrikaner/british
    the zulu war—————afrikaner/zulu etc………………..


  • Hindu Indian
    Feb 27, 2012 - 12:47PM

    @From Herat with Love:
    Couldn’t agree more , we humans are flawed, the earlier we understand this , the better. (Please i dont want to change my religion to “change” the flaw). I am good the way i am


  • Feb 27, 2012 - 1:15PM

    Lack of knowledge and Iman that why is happening.
    Thank you.


  • let there be peace
    Feb 27, 2012 - 10:06PM

    @Ali Tanoli:
    In none of the examples you mentioned people killed each other ‘in the name of their religion’, or allegedly ‘inspired by teachings of their religion’ ; except may be communists killing communist.


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